While it may be clear that you’ve inherited your mom’s fair skin or your dad’s curly hair, scientists have discovered that you may have a genetic trait from your parents which isn’t visible to the naked eye. A new study has revealed that the way in which you raise children is written in your DNA. According to researchers at Michigan State University we all will inevitably turn into our mom or dad.

The study was based on 56 case studies involving more than 20,000 families. Results showed that between 23 and 40 percent of parental warmth, control, and negativity toward their children is influenced by genes. This goes against the common belief that parents deal with their children based solely on how they were parented growing up. “The way we parent is not solely a function of the way we were parented as children. There also appears to be genetic influences on parenting,” said co-author of the study S.Alexandra Burt, according to HealthDay.

The study also found that another significantly large amount of parenting is influenced by the child’s behavior. It seems that parents will base their parenting techniques on the personalities of their children.

Overall the researchers concluded that there are a number of factors that influence the upbringing of a child. “Parents have their own experiences when they were children, their own personalities, their own genes,. On top of that, they are also responding to their child’s behaviors and stage of development." Burt told HealthDay.

Parenting is an extremely important aspect of humanity, having significant importance not only during childhood but also throughout an individual’s lifetime. The project’s goal was to find the specific origins of parenting in order to better understand its influences. The discovery of a genetic link to parenting not only proves that it is an important part of growing up, but also shows that parenting is an important part of what it means to be human.  

Source: Klahr AM, Burt AS. Elucidating the etiology of individual differences in parenting: A meta-analysis of behavioral genetic research. American Psychological Association. 2014.